About 19,100 former and current members of the Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative will receive patronage capital credit refunds this month.
At its November meeting, the LMRE board of trustees approved a record patronage capital credit refund of $1.6 million, marking the 34th consecutive year the cooperative has retired capital credits to current and former members. Since 1982, the cooperative has refunded more than $23.1 million in capital credits.
The majority of refunds are issued as credits on members’ bills rather than issued as checks. Bills will be mailed or emailed to members Dec. 10.
For former members and cooperative members whose refund total is $100 or more, a check will be mailed Dec. 10.
“We are pleased, once again, to be able to issue patronage capital credit refunds to our member owners,” said president Rodney “John” Eaton. “This is what makes the cooperative business model unique. We are one of 24 not-for-profit electric cooperatives in Ohio. Together, we own our own power supply and our rates are competitive. We have a strong system maintenance program and our outage statistics are historically low. Factor all that in, and the refunding of patronage capital credits is a testament to our cooperative’s financial strength and stability.”
Eaton explained that members provide the necessary capital for the cooperative to operate, maintain and expand its system. The cooperative retains allocated capital credits as working capital for new construction, equipment, and system improvements throughout its service area. Otherwise, rates would have to be raised significantly to pay for infrastructure improvements.
If financial conditions permit, the LMRE board decides each year whether to retire a set amount of capital credits.
LMRE serves approximately 16,200 members and maintains 1,529 miles of line in Lorain, Medina, Ashland, Huron, and Wayne counties.